Beck falsely claimed Dunn “worships” Mao Zedong, “her hero.” Throughout most of his October 15 Fox News program, Beck falsely claimed that Dunn “worships” and “idolizes” “her hero” Mao Zedong. In fact, in the video that Beck aired as evidence to support his claims, Dunn offered no endorsement of Mao’s ideology or atrocities — rather, she commented that Mao and Mother Teresa were two of her “favorite political philosophers,” and based on short quotes from them, she offered the advice that “you don’t have to follow other people’s choices and paths” or “let external definition define how good you are internally.”
In less then three weeks this is the second time conservatives have been punked. The first was when a conservative blogger corned former Weatherman radical Bill Ayers in an airport and he cowled gnarled something about being the real author of Barack Obama’s Dreams of My Father. As sure as Ayers knew hen he said it the usual low spark of burned out neurons such as Free Republic, Hot Air repeated it as vindication of their bizarre theory ( I wrote about their stellar scholarly detective techniques here – Herman Melville Wrote Dreams of My Father). That right-wing bastion of rightie intellectualism the National Review also agreed that Ayers was making a simple confession. Having been punked about their own propaganda the Right is not about to give up the myth now, Bill Ayers Explains It All. One of my favorite political philosophers George W. Bush once said “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — [pauses] – shame on you. Fool me — You can’t get fooled again.” Nashville, Tenn., (September 17, 2002). Fox and assorted conservative pundits might want to read the Great Bush once in a while they might learn something. Maybe they would have understood Dunn’s recent exercise in her sly straight faced jab at conservatives, Obama aide fires back at Beck over Mao remarks
“The Mao quote is one I picked up from the late Republican strategist Lee Atwater from something I read in the late 1980s, so I hope I don’t get my progressive friends mad at me,” Dunn told CNN.
As for Beck’s criticism: “The use of the phrase ‘favorite political philosophers’ was intended as irony, but clearly the effort fell flat — at least with a certain Fox commentator whose sense of irony may be missing.”
What Dunn said in full,
A lot of you have great deal of ability. A lot of you work hard. Put them together and that answers the why not question. There is usually not a good reason. And then the 3rd lesson and tip actually come from two of my favorite political philosophers. Mao Tse-tung and Mother Teresa, not often couple with each other, but the two people that I turn to most to basically deliver a simple point which is you’re going to make choices, you’re going to challenge, you’re going to say why not. You’re going to figure out how to do things that have never been done before. But here’s the deal, these are your choices, they’re no one else’s.
In 1947, when Mao Tse-tung was being challenged within his own party, on his plan to basically take China over, Chiang Kai-shek and the nationalist Chinese held the cities, they had the army, they had the air force, they had everything on their side and people said how can you win, how can you do this, how can you do this against all odds against you, and Mao Tse-tung said “You fight your war and I’ll fight mine.” Think about that for a second, you don’t have to accept the definition of how to do things and you don’t have to follow other people’s choices in the past. Okay. It is about your choices in your path, you fight your own war. You lay out your own path. You figure out what is right for you. You don’t let external definition how good you are internally. You fight your own war. You let them fight their’s. Everybody has their own path.
As subtle as that might be it doesn’t speak well, yet once again, for the sense of humor or knowledge of history of modern conservatives. Shouldn’t a little bell have gone off at designating a mass murdering communist and a self-less humanitarian as your “favorite” political philosophers set off a the irony alert. As Media Matters notes conservatives such as Stephen C. Shadegg, Ralph Reed, Edward H. Crane and John McCain among others have quoted Mao. The phrase that Dunn quotes isn’t or at least should not be attributed to Mao Tse-tung, because Mao Tse-tung plagiarized the concept ( as he did throughout ” The Red Book”) from Sun Tzu’s ‘The Art of War”,
Therefore the clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy’s will to be imposed on him.
Do not repeat the tactics which have gained you one victory, but let your methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances.
He who can modify his tactics in relation to his opponent and thereby succeed in winning, may be called a heaven-born captain.
update: Forgot to mention that “The Art of War” is taught at West Point.